kittylady: (teach the controversy)
Today I shall talk of non con stuff, as I am still exhausted.

First off, Madison is absolutely beautiful. Just gorgeous. There were bike lanes that were in constant use, horse carriages that wandered around, museums everywhere and tons of little shops that had just about everything. The people were fantastic; just from the locals I met some amazingly creative people. Granted, they were locals that were also cool enough to go to a Discworld convention, but they still made their city look good. Even the hobos were far more tolerable.

The cheese is just as wonderful as everyone says it is. I can give no higher endorsement.

The hotel had an amazing restaurant, and I solemnly regret not trying the salad bar. I also regret not sliding down the beautiful grand staircase bannister. The staff were amazingly polite, the bartenders were fantastic, and the security were kind enough to inform the husband that the hotel had been built on the site of an old church and was rumored to be haunted. Unfortunately, we did not see any ghosts, but they probably would have blended right in.

The only complaint I have involves the drive: fuck Chicago. In fact, fuck Illinois and their entire construction-poxed toll system. If I never drive through that state again it will be too soon.

There will be pics in several days; there's lots to sort through as several people were kind enough to share photo albums with me, and I promise to share in turn with you. But here's a spoiler to let you know why you should all be insanely jealous:
kittylady: (Default)
Holy crap tomatoes get huge. I think it has something to do with gardeners being sadistic bastards who wanted to watch the newbie struggle with a massive carpet of stinky green. Did I mention that they stink? And they turn your fingers black for a couple days when you prune them.

Don't think I'm going to have nearly so many next year.
kittylady: (sistene finger)

Behold, a fellow space nerd's rant against the end of manned space flight. And it has the bonus of being funny.
kittylady: (Default)
I'm not sure if it's a good or bad sign that my life is dull enough that the only thing worth posting about regularly is my tiny postage stamp of a garden. On one hand, my life is pretty boring. On the other, nothing bad is going on.

What the hell is up with people shoving tomatoes off on me? Are tomatoes some weird sadistic rite of passage that other gardening-type folks foist upon the newbies? Half my garden is tomatoes, and the only reason I wanted any in the first place is so I can make sauce. I ran out of trellis space ten plants ago, and now the damn things are starting to sprawl all over the place, the stakes holding them in place are a joke, and it's something of a miracle that they're not growing over anything else.

I suppose I shouldn't complain too loudly, since I mixed the dirt they're growing in. My cucumber has put forward strange growths that will likely be future salad but look like they belong on the ocean floor. Everything is growing, except for one of the shallots that I don't think ever rooted. And the catnip didn't make it through the last chewing it got; I replaced it with a normal mint, and I suppose I'll have to wait and see on the rabbits. I also haven't had any bug problems yet, and I'm really hoping that I won't. How's that for wishful thinking?

Also: mulch is stinky. Very stinky. I've been told that it will be less so after a few days. And you always need more than you think. But it looks a lot better than landscaping fabric and rocks.
kittylady: (Default)
I think, in hindsight, that putting the catnip outside was not the brightest idea I've ever had.

It keeps shrinking, leaf by leaf. Today I noticed a whole stem gone and about a third of my parsley chewed off.

On the other hand, I haven't seen any sign of rabbits, so I don't know if the overall good is outweighing the bad here.
kittylady: (so much squee)
So my little garden is finally in. It looks like total crap, but that's what happens when you run out of cash and still need to put mulch over the landscaping fabric.

But I found some lovely edging bricks, 5 1/2" high and 16" long, for a whole fifty cents a brick and picked up forty of them, and lined the one corner of my house with a decent amount of sun exposure and gutters that don't explode downward in a waterfall of debris. As it turned out, one corner of my bed was right under a bad spot in the gutter and I had about four inches of dirt get washed away during all that nastiness that we had a few weeks ago, right where I was hoping to put in sunflowers.

But that's all right, because I figured that this year would be the year I learn what not to do next year. And I definitely learned that I shouldn't be completely lazy and not level out the ground before I put the landscaping fabric down, because then there's weird holes and gaps that more dirt gets washed through. Oh, and that it's important to have a hose long enough to go where you need it, or else you will end up hauling many gallon containers.

So I had to shorten the bed by about four feet, and I still crammed in eight tomato plants of three different varieties, two sweet basils, four shallots, a green pepper, a damn cayenne plant that I had to go out and buy since my cat thinks the seedlings taste like chocolate, a cucumber, parsley, and a few nasturtiums and snapdragons. The snapdragons are blooming, and I think only one of the nasturtiums survived being transplanted, but that's okay, because I have a ton more seeds.

Anyway, the important thing is that today I pinched back my basils, marking my first ever harvest from anything that I have ever grown myself. Every single time before that I have ever had a plant, either I killed it or the cats did it for me. Today marks a brand new thing in my life, and that's really cool.

And then I brought them inside, boiled up some corkscrew pasta, diced and fried some thick peppered bacon, sliced the basil into strips and brought everything together into a freaking delicious plate of parmesan-dusted heaven. And it was so damn good. And the extra best thing is that I'll be able to do it again in a few more days.
kittylady: (so much squee)

That may well be one of the most amazingly cool things in the whole existence of the internet. And it is not made any less awesome by the fact that I just finished reading Feed by Mira Grant last week. In fact, I would strongly advise anyone who enjoys zombies and funny together at the same time to do the same.
kittylady: (sistene finger)
Today marks one year since the Deepwater rig went splodey. One year's worth of oil gushing at insane levels into what used to be one of the most productive fishing areas on the planet. One year's worth of a foreign company dicking around in the court systems. Eleven months worth of news agencies ignoring the devastation. Eleven months of US military keeping its own civillians away from the shore.

What a year.

And to think this day used to be known for being a stoner holiday and Hitler's birthday.
kittylady: (Default)
Or does anyone else think that for the amount of money Donald Trump is worth, he could afford some better hair?
kittylady: (sure would be nice)
Gah. Ever have a day, or a week, or a few months, where you wake up and just want to start screaming at the whole damn world? Not even because it did anything in particular, but because it exists at all?


So Kitten has made herself my chief pain in the ass. I started some seedlings in the likely vain hope of having a little garden this year; romas, basil, cayenne, nasturtiums*, parsley, snapdragons and, of course, catnip. Most of them were under plastic for some period, and one night I pulled the saran wrap off of the cayenne and tomatoes to see that their newspaper pots had developed a light mold. I left them uncovered, and in the morning I awoke to discover that all of my cayennes were gone. Nothing else had been touched, except for a nasturtium that had had exactly one bite taken out of a leaf, but the whole dozen of my peppers were completely ruined.

And there was Kitten, sunning herself on the floor, with her little white paws turned black from playing in my potting soil.

The extra annoying thing was that the catnip had four sets of leaves on it, and she completely ignored it.

And the whole week of my birthday was depressing as hell, and this recession can go launch itself right into the center of the fucking sun. And when I'm ruler of the world, there will be contests for the thinkers in my realm, and great prizes to be awarded for the most creative methods of executing the worst offenders of my bar, starting with removing their rude little fingers.

But I did get the entire box set of Invader Zim as a present. And Sims Medieval is very, very addictive.

*Is it just me, or do the seeds look like little dried up brains? I call them my zombie plants because I have no idea how to pronounce "nasturtiums".


Mar. 8th, 2011 04:33 pm
kittylady: (sure would be nice)
I just got a set of phone calls from a heavy breather. Kind of sad, actually. I've had prank calls from kids that were more persistent.

What's really sad... that was the most fun I've had all weekend. No, I haven't gone back to work yet so it's still the weekend. And now I'm healthy enough to be slamming my head against the walls out of lack of anything to do, and just sick enough that I still get dizzy if I stand up for too long.

So now that my entertainment has given up, does anyone have anything interesting to pass along and brighten my day? Can you tell I'm bored?
kittylady: (sistene finger)
So it's been a while, but my sinuses have informed me that I am a terrible person, and that I don't remember their birthday, and that they are going to make my life miserable with florescent badness coming out of my nose until I perfect a weather making machine that will make the whole fifty degrees/snow/fucking springtime again/more fucking snow cycle go away.

I am wearing a full set of flannel jammies, wrapped in a flannel bathrobe, with a snuggie outside of that, and the whole ensemble is resting awkwardly in the middle of a nice heavy winter blanket. You'd think I'd be sweating, wouldn't you? Ha.

The really annoying bit is that I can't concentrate on anything long enough to write it down coherently. I've been trying to stay away from cold meds because I don't like the icky feeling I get in my chest from the speed, but I'm so damn loopy it's like it doesn't matter. I think I may be needing some antibiotics for this one.

The second most annoying thing is the lack of sleep. Waking up every few hours to blow your nose is not the most productive method of resting.
kittylady: (Default)
So I've been thinking, which is not always a good thing, about two terms I've heard being bandied about far more than normal in the last few days. As someone with more than a passing interest in religious history, I actually know what the terms blood libel and pogrom really mean. They're not very nice terms, and they've been around for a long, long time. They're just thankfully not very common in this modern world. And there's other people who know what those uncommon terms mean who are not Jewish or religious history nerds, and those people are overwhelmingly anti-semitic.

The reason that I'm bringing this up is because I've been seeing an awful lot of the "well, she's just stupid" variety of excuses for Palin, and I don't buy it. I believe the woman is vindictive, petty, hypocritical and overall evil, but I don't think she's stupid. Why do I believe this, in spite of a pretty hefty pile of video evidence to the contrary? Because ever since her name got in the spotlight, she's done everything within her power to stay there. She quit her term as govenor so that she could go on an obscenely priced speaking tour, have a million-dollar book deal, get a cushy job as a talking head on Fox and even got her own short-lived reality show. Many things she may be, but stupid ain't it. And one of the things where she's managed to shine the brightest is by keeping her overwhelmingly fundamentalist and bigoted supporters whipped up to a state of black/mexican/woman/liberal/jew-hating rage.

That said, does anyone really believe that Palin's choice of words was accidental? To put it another way: Palin accused an African president and a Jewish Congresswoman of putting her Christian children in front of death panels, and now she's saying that SHE is the victim of blood libel and that the evil liberal lamestream media (of which she's a paid member) is mounting a pogrom.

These aren't just dog whistles anymore, folks.
kittylady: (sistene finger)
Fuck you.

And feel free to let the door hit your ass on the way out.
kittylady: (so much squee)
Yay! The holiday bullshit is officially over until next year!
kittylady: (Default)
The first attempt at this, as with most things, taught me what not to do on the second attempt. I used a Jonagold apple cut up into about 1" chunks, and I learned that there is no way to bake an apple in bite-sized pieces without it turning into mush. That little inspiration particle lied. Also, I overcooked the pasta, so it was mostly a cheesy porridge. Was much better the next morning after being sliced and fried.

The second attempt was far better. Made a virtue of necessity and diced the apple, a Granny Smith, and I noticed no appreciable taste difference between the two. But what did make an appreciable taste difference was undercooking the pasta, making the sauce a bit thinner, and broiling the brown sugar crust until it was bubbly before serving with a sprinkling of green onions. Why yes, my taste buds do belong to a genius, thank you.

I'm thinking it will be even better with a good smoked cheddar.
kittylady: (Default)

For everyone with fond memories of libraries. Also, and very strangely for me, completely safe for work.
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